Mandarin Companion

Rebranding a publisher specialising in Chinese grader reader novels.

Mandarin Companion

Brand Strategy
Identity design
Art Direction

Chinese is an incredibly complex language for westerners to learn. We were tasked to reposition the brand to be warmer and more welcoming to a millennial audience. The previous logo suffered from poor legibility at smaller sizes and a dated look and feel. Much of the typography was inappropriate for the use cases and there were no overall guidelines for the brand.

From here were moved on to tackle the book jacket design. We needed to create differentiation in the market as the nearest rival had recently moved their jacket design to more like the client's style. The book jacket also needed to fix a number of issues including type legibility and jumbled hierarchy.


We undertook extensive research into the existing audience through surveys and drawing upon  previous purchasing data. We segmented this audience into five distinct types.

1.0 Discovery Phase

the personas

From the huge amount of data we honed down to our three most valuable personas who we named Stacy, Austin and Hannah. Each one came with their own backstory, reason for needing to learn Mandarin, their interests, hobbies and pain points.

We created keywords and stylescapes (in depth moodboards) for each persona that would inform the narrative for the future brand direction.

2.0 Logo design

3.0 Logo Implementation

4.0 Jacket design

Book Jackets

The final part of the engagement was to create a new book jacket design system.

The client wanted a stronger sense of brand with these jackets and to fit within the Mandarin Companion ecosystem.

There was a lot of information that needed to be present on the jackets which in the past had led to cluttered covers with inappropriate use of type.

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